New Delhi: As India embarks on a fast track growth towards US$ 5 trillion economy by FY25, the mining sector calls for a much sharper focus and concerted efforts by the policy makers and industry players to regain 3% share in the GDP by FY25, reveals the Study Report ‘Towards a Globally Competitive Minerals & Mining Industry’.
The Study undertaken by Confederation of Indian Industry was released at the Mining Summit 2019 today at New Delhi.
Releasing the report, Mr Upendra Joshi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines said, “The minerals and mining industry is core to India’s growth ambition of a $US5 trillion economy. Exploration, extraction and management of minerals have to be guided by national goals and perspectives, to be integrated into the overall strategy of the country’s economic development and at the same time, there should be effort to promote domestic industry and reduce import dependency.” The sector has a pivotal role to play in the ‘Make in India’ vision of the Prime Minister, he added.
Adding further, the Joint Secretary said, “Exploration can improve India’s mineral security and competitive edge. There is significant scope for new mining capacities in iron ore, bauxite and coal and considerable opportunities for future discoveries of sub- surface deposits. The Geological Survey of India has almost doubled its exploration activity by implementing about 400 mineral exploration projects on various mineral commodities. Attractive provisions have been made for inviting private investment in mineral exploration through revenue sharing model. It shall also be ensured that the regulatory environment is conducive to ease of doing business with simpler, transparent and time-bound procedures for doing business.”
Mr Sunil Duggal, Chairman, CII National Committee on Mining and CEO, Hindustan Zinc Ltd. spoke about the maximum multiplier effect the mining industry has on the country’s economy, which is 13 times the agriculture and 6 times of manufacturing. In terms of GDP contribution, the mining has a multiplier effect like every 1% increase in the growth rate of mining leads to an increase of 1.2-1.4% in the growth rate of industrial production. Adding further, Mr Duggal said, unemployment in India is 6% today, but in terms of absolute numbers, it is the highest in the country ever. Thus, there can’t be a better time for government to push mining growth. “I am hopeful, the recommendations provided in the CII Study report will provide strong and clear direction to make our move towards that”, he said.
Presenting the CII study recommendations, Ms Bidisha Ganguly, Chief Economist CII said, Energising the mining sector requires interventions on 12 critical fronts, with incentivising exploration and streamlining auction process being two of the major themes. Enhancing efficiency and speed of clearances, reducing royalty rates with international benchmarks, addressing issues of mining leases expiring in 2020, changing the negative image of the mining industry are some of the other areas identified in the report to develop and boost the Indian mining industry.
Mr. Partha Sarathi Bhattacharyya , former Chairman, Coal India Limited who also Steered the Mining study, said, “Growth in mining in last decade lagged, which needs to be reversed to drive the 5 trillion goal. T he document will help redefine the policy framework.” He said, India sits on 300 bn tons of coal reserves. The coal majors like Coal India and Singareni Collieries Company together account for almost 95% of the total coal produced in the country. It is important to offer larger coal blocks of larger annual capacity. Also, commercial mining needs to begin soon opening the doors to private players.
Mr Tuhin Mukherjee, Managing Director, Essel Mining & Industries Ltd said the country’s first priority should be to leverage mineral resources like what Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan and Chille have done. Not only should we replicate those models, but also we must capture and leverage the value additions. As we plan to adopt new technologies, we must also consider future-proof technologies, because of the highly changing character of the technologies and the huge investments they require.
Mr Sridhar Patra, Chairman & Managing Director, NALCO emphasized on 3P focus for mining growth, viz. Production, Productivity, and Profitability. Sustainable development, ethical behaviour of the industry, paying attention to the mineral security of the country through 3Rs- Reduce, Recycle and Regenerate, and creating the necessary environment to adopt the best practices should be part of the Manthan (brainstorm) for the Mining Sector, he added.
Mr P K Satpathy, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Mining and Director (Production), NMDC Ltd said, CII Mining Committee was engaged in a year-long brainstorming and deliberations into these aspects and has successfully come out with the report, which covers the industry suggestions at length. The goal is to spur exploration activity in the country and thereby development of the sector in a transparent and efficient manner.